While many eyes in the commercial airline industry were undoubtedly watching the U.S. Navy's EMALS (Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System) testing, it is Airbus that has first stepped forward suggesting commercial applications. Earlier this year the manufacturer announced "Smarter Skies," a series of concepts and promotional videos revealing where they want to be by 2050.
One component in their plan is for an EMALS-like system, though they never directly refer to military subcontractor General Atomics' invention; instead the company calls it "Eco-Climb," writing that "Aircraft could be manoeuvred onto a track system and accelerated using either electro-magnetic motors built into the track or an inductive circuit within the aircraft itself." [...]
Aircraft could be manoeuvred onto a track system and accelerated using either electro-magnetic motors built into the track or an inductive circuit within the aircraft itself.
Acceptable acceleration and deceleration limits of passengers would need to be determined, but the experience would be more akin to a comfortable children’s funfair ride rather than a high-octane white knuckle theme park.
The ultimate, albeit it very extreme, concept is to have a system that not only launches but also captures the aircraft, removing the need for landing gear. This would require all airports to have the same system, to accommodate all routes along with alternative/diversion airports, and most likely is beyond 2050.
Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) is a complete launch system designed to replace the existing steam catapult currently being used on aircraft carriers. The USS Gerald R. Ford, the first ship of the CVN-21 Future Aircraft Carrier Class, will use electromagnetic launch systems.